Growing gourmet and medical mushrooms

Paul Stamets. Growing gourmet and medical mushrooms. - Ten Speed Press, 2000


1. Mushrooms, Civilization and History

2. The Role of Mushrooms in Nature

3.Selecting a Candidate for Cultivation

4. Natural Culture: Creating Mycological Landscapes

5. The Stametsian Model: Permaculture with a Mycological Twist

6. Materials fo rFormulating a Fruiting Substrate

7. Biological Efficiency: An Expression of Yield

8. Home-made vs. Commercial Spawn

9. The Mushroom Life Cycle

10. The Six Vectors of Contamination

11. Mind and Methods for Mushroom Culture

12. Culturing Mushroom Mycelium on Agar Media

13. The Stock Culture Library: A Genetic Bank of Mushroom Strains

14. Evaluating a Mushroom Strain

15. Generating Grain Spawn

16. Creating Sawdust Spawn

17. Growing Gourmet Mushrooms on Enriched Sawdust

18. Cultivating Gourmet Mushrooms on Agricultural Waste Products

19. Cropping Containers

20. Casing: A Topsoil Promoting Mushroom Formation

21. Growth Parameters for Gourmet and Medicinal Mushroom Species

Spawn Run: Colonizing the Substrate

Primordia Formation: The Initiation Strategy

Fruitbody (Mushroom) Development

The Gilled Mushrooms

The Polypore Mushrooms of the Genera Ganoderma, Grifola and Polyporus

The Lion’s Mane of the Genus Hericium

The Wood Ears of the Genus Auricularia

The Morels: Land-Fish Mushrooms of the Genus Morchella

The Morel Life Cycle

22. Maximizing the Substrate’s Potential through Species Sequencing

23. Harvesting, Storing, and Packaging the Crop for Market

24. Mushroom Recipes: Enjoying the Fruits of Your Labors

25. Cultivation problems & Their Solutions: A Troubleshoting guide


I. Description of Environment for a Mushroom Farm

II. Designing and Building A Spawn Laboratory

III. The Growing Room: An Environment for Mushroom Formation & Development

IV. Resource Directory

V. Analyses of Basic Materials Used in Substrate Preparation

VI. Data Conversion Tables






there are several tracks that one can pursue to create suitable habitats, refer to Chapter 21 for more


Mining Mycelium from
Wild Patches
Transplantation is the moving of mycelium
from natural patches to new habitats. Most wild
mushroom patches have a vast mycelial network emanating beneath each mushroom. Not
only can one harvest the mushroom, but portions of the mycelial network can be gathered
and transferred to a new location. This method
ensures the quick establishment of a new colony
without having to germinate spores or buying
commercial spawn.
When transplanting mycelium, I use a paper
sack or a cardboard box. Once mycelium is disturbed, it quickly dries out unless measures are

taken to prevent dehydration. After it is removed from its original habitat, the mycelium
will remain viable for days or weeks, as long as
it is kept moist in a cool, dark place.
Gathering the wild mycelium of mycorrhizal
mushrooms could endanger the parent colony.

If done properly, transplanting the mycelium
of saprophytic mushrooms is not threatening to
naturally occurring mushroom colonies. Some
of the best sites for finding mycelium for transplantation are sawdust piles. Mycelial networks
running through sawdust piles tend to be vast and

relatively clean of competing fungi. Fans of
mycelium are more often found along the periph-

ery of sawdust piles than within their depths.
When sawdust piles are a foot deep or more, the
microclimate is better suited for molds and thermophilic fungi. These mold fungi benefit from
the high carbon dioxide and heat generated from

natural composting. At depths of 2-6 inches,
mushroom mycelia runs vigorously. It is from
these areas that mushroom mycelium should be
collected for transplantation to new locations.

One, in effect, engages in a form of mycelial
mining by encouraging the growth and the harvesting of mycelium from such environments.
Ideal locations for finding such colonies are saw-

mills, nurseries, composting sites, recycling
centers, rose and rhododendron gardens, and soil
mixing companies.

press tightly back into place. In my opinion,

Inoculating Outdoor
Substrates with Pure
Cultured Spawn

mycorrhizal species should not be transplanted
unless the parent colony is imminently threat-

mycelium was collected from the wild and

Be sure you cover the divot with wood debris and

ened with loss of habitat—such as logging,
construction, etc. Digging up mycelium from the

root zone of a healthy forest can jeopardize the
symbiotic relationship between the mushroom
and its host tree. Exposed mycelium and roots
become vulnerable to disease, insect
invasion, and dehydration. Furthermore, transplantation of mycorrhizal species has a lower
success rate than the transplantation of
saprophytic mushrooms.

In the early history of mushroom cultivation,

transplanted into new substrates with varying
results. Soon compost spawn (for the Button
Mushroom (Agaricus brunnescens ) evolved
with greater success. In 1933, spawn technology was revolutionized by Sinden's discovery
of grain as a spawn carrier medium. Likewise,
S toIler (1962) significantly contributed to the
technology of mushroom cultivation through a
series of practical advances in using plastic

PDF compression, OCR, web-optimization with CVISION's PdfCompressor